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Exercise-Induced Emergencies in the Heat: Rhabdomyolysis & Exertional Heat Stroke

With the increasing popularity of high-intensity exercise regimens, visits to the Emergency Department among otherwise young and healthy individuals may be more common. The majority of metabolic abnormalities that occur after an extreme exercise event, whether a marathon or a new high-intensity exercise class, may resolve within a few days with rest and hydration. But for some, symptoms can be quite severe. This article will examine the pathophysiology and management of two prevalent exercise-associated injuries: rhabdomyolysis and exertional heat stroke, which may be encountered in the ED.